GOD AND MAN AT TABLE

God Incarnate

As I sat at the piano, playing and singing some Christmas carols, another song came to my heart. This is traditionally a song sung for times of communion, the Lord’s Supper, in a corporate gathering. Brother Bob Stamps, then chaplain of ORU with assistance from David Stearman, composed this song back in the ‘70’s during our time at ORU. Gazing at the nativity figures on my piano I had never considered this as a Christmas song, yet it totally expressed the meaning of the birth of Jesus. His birth opened the door for everyone to come: shepherds, kings, wise men and women. My brother-in-law used to say “The ground is level at the foot of the cross with a sign that says ‘whosoever will may come.”

All are welcome, shepherds and kings

GOD AND MAN AT TABLE

by Dr. Robert J.(Brother Bob) Stamps

O, welcome, all ye noble saints of old                                                        As now before your very eyes unfold                                                    The wonders all so long ago foretold.                                                     God and Man at table are sat down

 Elders, martyrs, all are falling down;                                           Prophets, patriarchs are gath’ring round.                                         What angels longed to see now man has found:                                  God and man at table are sat down.

Who is this who spreads the vic’try feast?                                        Who is this who makes our warring cease?                                     Jesus, Risen Savior, Prince of Peace.                                                     God and man at table are sat down.

Beggars, lame, and harlots also here;                                        Repentant publicans are drawing near.                                    Wayward sons come home without a fear.                                        God and man at table are sat down.

Worship in the presence of the Lord                                                   With joyful songs and hearts in one accord.                                        And let our Host at table be adored.                                                       God and man at table are sat down.

When at last this earth shall pass away,                                           When Jesus and his Bride are one to stay,                                            The feast of love is just begun that day.                                               God and man at table are sat down.

 

 

God and Man at Table are Sat Down

Take a moment this Christmas.

Stop and Breathe. Share Communion.

After all, isn’t that what Christmas is really about?

(copyright Song Solutions, UK/Eire and Capitol CMG Publishing, USA.)

 

 

 

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GRACE, The Pleasure of His Company

 

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From http://www.Biblestudyquestions.info

The word Grace appears 132 times in the KJV of the Bible. The first time it appears is when Noah found ‘Grace’. God was in the middle of saying he was sorry he had created man and then the words: But Noah found grace! Grace here means ‘an object of beauty, favor, precious and to show mercy.’ Noah found the Pleasure of His Company and was saved from destruction.

In the New Testament the first time Grace is used is in Luke 2:40. And the Grace of God was upon him (Jesus as a child). Here Grace has a slightly different connotation “Full of cheer, liberal joy & pleasure, divine influence and favor.” Jesus walk in the Pleasure of His Father’s Company, in joy and favor.

Have you ever gone through a dry spell spiritually? Our past several months have been quite busy and disruptive with home renovations, the holidays, and guests in our home. Then at the very end, I caught a cold and was in bed a few days. Now I’m up and going, but feel like a dry crust of bread or a cracker spiritually. During this hectic time my reading was in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. There I saw God’s great wisdom in His law in new ways and felt a Holy fear in my heart at His awesomeness. Yet rather than move on over into the New Covenant, I camped out on Judgment and began to meditate on it.

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Dry as a cracker!

After a few sleepless nights looking at his judgment, I really ‘worried’ rather than prayed my prayers to him. “Lord, what about my family? What about the nation? ISIS? The presidential election? Human trafficking? The lost people in Mongolia?” My mind was spinning. I realized that sometimes I pray as though the Lord doesn’t have all the information I have and I should explain to him all of the circumstances and the possible solutions to all of these problems. Have you ever prayed this way?

Then, as the morning light began to dawn I heard the Lord say, “Ruthie, believe it or not, I am aware of all of these situations. You have explained them well to me and I’m actually big enough to handle them all. They are not for you to carry. Can you trust me to carry them for you? Today, I want you to look up, print out and meditate on the word ‘Grace’.”

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From Christian Clipart

And so I did.

Grace is a gift and I began to reach out and receive His gift of grace. Grace says to my heart, “You are my joy and pleasure. You are what I came to earth to redeem, rescue and love. Soak in the thought that when I look at you, I smile. I long to just sit a while and simply enjoy your company. Will you sit with me?”

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And so I did that too.

THAT, my friend, is grace. The Pleasure of His Company! His joy, His pleasure, His love poured out on me. The price of judgment (My Debt) has been paid and He has torn up my bill. Now He simply desires the pleasure of MY company. This dry crumb has now become soaked. Maybe even to the point of bread pudding! Moist, sweet, and pleasant for the King.

I challenge you today: Sit a spell with the lover of your soul. Meditate on His marvelous, amazing grace. Realize that when He looks at you, he smiles. Know that you are His joy! His treasure! His child, bought, paid for and fully adopted into His family! Not because you deserved it, but because He saw you, loved you and wanted you for his very own.

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He desires the Pleasure of Your Company.

Cups

Cup of Promise
Cup of Promise

During the Christmas season every morning I drank from a different Christmas cup and shared it on Facebook. That was so much fun, like having coffee with friends every morning.

Delicate tea cup
Delicate tea cup

This morning as I reached for my morning cup of coffee I thought about my favorite cups. There are many kinds of cups: tea cups, grandmama’s cup, mugs, and the list goes on.

 

But this morning I’m thinking of another cup. This cup is a cup of healing, deliverance, freedom and joy. This cup came at a very high price to the giver and is free to the taker. The communion cup. It too comes in many shapes and sizes, but the one size fits all who would drink from it.

At our church we have been encouraged to take communion in our homes every day in preparation for the coming year. This has already become so special to us. At some time during the day BJ and I share communion with each other and the Lord. BJ was gone for a couple of days and I took communion with just me and the Lord. How wonderful to have this privilege and freedom. I encourage you to take time to do the same in your home too.

Cup of Joy
Cup of Redemption

As you lift that cup you remember the cost. It cost Him everything. Isaiah 53 says, “But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us…. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed…. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him, on him. He was beaten, he was tortured, but he didn’t say a word.” (The Message)

It’s very sobering to stop and meditate on that scripture. To remember.

Yet later in Isaiah 61 he explains why he was willing to suffer.  “To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” (The NKJV)

So this cup, this precious cup, is two fold. It is the cup of His suffering, but it becomes the cup of His joy.

Do you feel your life is turning to ashes? Drink from this cup and exchange your ashes for His beauty. Are you mourning the loss of dreams, hopes or someone special? Drink from this cup and exchange your loss for His joy and dare to hope again.  What’s happening in your life today that causes you to be heavy hearted? Drink from this cup and exchange your heaviness for a spirit of praise and thanksgiving.

Covenant!
Cup of Covenant and Joy

I would love to hear from you as you share this cup with Him. It’s made such a difference for us. My prayer is that it will make a difference for you too.